Iran blames Riyadh, US, UK for protests

Protests began in the city of Mashhad, initially against price rises and corruption, but have since spread amid wider anti-government sentiment.

Published: 02nd January 2018 02:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2018 02:43 PM   |  A+A-

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, university students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. | AP

By AFP

TEHRAN: Saudi Arabia, the US and Britain are major players behind the anti-government protests in Iran, an official said on Tuesday.

Certain countries were waging a "proxy war" against the Islamic republic via social media and the Internet, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was quoted as saying by Press TV.

The US, Britain and Saudi Arabia were behind the riots in Iran, he said, adding the hashtags and social media campaigns in Tehran were all being guided by these countries.

"Based on our analyses, around 27 per cent of the new hashtags against Iran were generated by the Saudi government," the Iranian official said.

Shamkhani said that such foreign-backed intervention was aimed at hampering Iran's progress in different spheres, Xinhua cited the report as saying.

"What is happening in Iran will be over in a few days and there is no reason to worry at all," he said.

Nine more people were killed overnight as protests against the government's economic policies, including looming price hikes, continued for a sixth day.

The latest violence, in the central Isfahan region, took the number of reported deaths to at least 22.

The protests in cities across Iran are the largest since the disputed 2009 Presidential election. They began in the city of Mashhad, initially against price rises and corruption, but have since spread amid wider anti-government sentiment.



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